Ogden Valley 50 miler 2012 Race Report
Even though this would be my 3rd year running this race, I was still pretty nervous for the race. As in the previous two years there were some unpredictable factors this year. The biggest thing that was different this year was I had talked my two brothers into running the race with me this year. I promised them if they ran the race, that no matter what I would stay with them the entire time. About a month before the race we did do one long run together. We were able to stay pretty much together. I did notice that my older brother John did tire out quite a bit towards the end. He had put in by far the least miles between the 3 of us. Also come to find out my little brother Jimmy Joe had been getting these dizzy spells where he’d almost fall over. He was guessing it was due to stress. Then about a week and a half before the race I had a couple of great fast runs in a row and I must have done something to my ankle cause it was hurt real bad. I was limping and could barely move it. So I stopped running until the race. Doing only one short run the Monday before the race. So going into the race we had Jimmy joe, on the verge of falling over randomly. Johnny, who was way undertrained for the race who also got very sick the two weeks before the race. And me really not knowing what to expect with my ankle. So Now onto the race. We drove out the night before to pick up our packets. We had a great dinner at olive garden. Went back to the hotel and had a great time swimming and soaking in the hot tub. A very relaxing night. Finally we got our number pinned on. Jimmy joe realized he hadn’t cut his toenails so he made an emergency run to walmart to buy some toenail clippers. Finally we all said a prayer together and headed off to bed. I slept great the whole night. Which is very rare for me. I always sleep horrible. Jimmy joe and Johnny said they weren’t able to get much sleep.
The alarm sounded at 3:30 am and it was time to get going. We all ate some breakfast.
When we got into the van the temperature said 22 degrees. It was a short 10 minute drive to the start line in Mountain green. The temperature dropped quickly to 18 degrees by the time we got there. We got there and there were a few runners huddled around the fire.
We got all geared up. I was shivering as I prepared to start. I can’t believe how cold it was. There was so much snow up there too. There had never been any snow up there the previous years. After a short pre race meeting it was time to start. Right as we were about to start some lady lost her glove and went back by the fire to find it. While she was over there we found it and I ran over to give it to her and the race started. So I caught up to Johnny and jimmy joe and just as we started going I reminded them to turn on their gps’. Neither of them had done it yet so they had to stop and do that. Nobody started off fast but we were already in last place. It was a rocky start. After a half mile or so we headed up the canyon. With headlamps on and rear flashers going the 21 of us ventured up the canyon in the sub freezing temperatures. The first few miles were slow. We were still in last place. Not that it really mattered but it was hard to watch the rest of the pack leave us behind, as last year I led the way up the canyon. Then Johnny had to shed two layers of shirts, he had compensated a little too much for the cold weather. So that slowed us down even more. Up the canyon we went. At a nice steady pace. After a few miles we joined up with a very talkative lady. She talked with Johnny quite a bit. I had to go pee so I said I’d catch up with them and said I needed to go pee. The lady we were talking to got so mad that I was able to pee standing up. She was genuinely jealous. It was kind of funny. So I caught up to them after and we had some other things slow us down so we stayed at the end of the pack. It was nice running back down the canyon. It was real steep. Like an 8% grade. It’s hard to enjoy downhills when you know you are going to have to run up them later. At the bottom of the canyon I really need to go #2 so I told my brothers I was going to run ahead and use the bathroom. Which I thought was coming up soon. I never saw one so I slowed down and waited for them. Finally around mile 12 or so we had an aid station and it was by a chevron gas station. I said I’d go inside but the race director lady said there was a portapotty just a little ways up the road. So I took off and told them I’d wait for them. It was about 2 miles away( a very long ways when you gotta go) Finally I made it and went. While my gloves were off I got so cold started shivering. It was still below 20 degrees. I waited like 10 minutes or so and started wondering if I’d missed them. Probably another 5 minutes went by and finally I they came around the corner. I guess Johnny had chosen to use the restroom back at the chevron and took a really long time. So jimmy joe left him and didn’t know where I was. Jimmy joe later told this this was probably his lowest point of the race. Not really know where me or Johnny was. He said his run kind of turned into a cry/grunt with each step he took.
Not gonna lie. The whole first part of the race from mile 5 to mile 25 was pretty miserable. My stomach was upset. I had to use the bathroom a few times. It was sooo cold. Jimmy joes hair even frosted over it was so cold. There wasn’t much conversation going on. I seriously wanted to just quit. I started to believe all the people that called me crazy for doing this. This was crazy. This was not fun. By mile 18 or so. The sun finally started to come up but it was still freezing. We were still in last place. There was one pack of 3 guys that we kept catching up to at the aid vehicles but they’d leave when we’d get there. I really was ok with last place but would rather not be.
Around mile 22 we skipped the aid station and passed the 3 guys. It was good to be out of last place. At mile 23 there was another aid station and we saw the leader on his way back . He was on about mile 32. He was cruising. We continued on. Trying to eat what we could. I was taking tums and pepto bismol tablets but just could get me stomach under control. Which really makes for a miserable run. We finally get to the 25 mile marker in just under 5 hours.
That is a very nice place to get mentally. When you have less miles to run than you’ve already gone. A few more miles later at mile 27 we get to the station with our drop bags. Where we ditched most of our night time gear and got ready for the warmer part of the day. Even though it was still real cold I needed to get my pants and jacket off asap. I was roasting. The last two years at this stop they had a nice warm chicken broth that I ate that really calmed my stomach. They didn’t have it this year. Just as we were leaving the aid station jimmy joe’s high school friend showed up. He brought some supplies with him including some hot chicken soup. This was the turning point for me in the race. Chicken soup never tasted so good. From then on out my stomach felt great. It was a life saver. Zach ran with us for about 5 miles or so. It was nice to have some new company. Kind of gave us a nice change of scenery. Not that I was tired of my brothers but it was fun having someone else there. Around mile 30 some guy came flying past us. We figured he was in a different race. We looked back and saw a pack of people coming up. At a turn in the road we followed our marker arrows and someone in a truck told us we were going the wrong way. We shouted back “for the 50 miler”? and they said oh never mind. Then we saw that guy running back towards us. And we told him he went the wrong way. We looked back and saw the majority of his race. Probably a 5 or 10k passing him. He didn’t seem to happy about it. Around mile 31 or so we saw a runner sitting on the ground and one of the volunteers talking to her. We stopped as we passed her and she said she was just feeling horrible and to just keep going. We felt bad for her but were kind of glad that there was another person that would keep us from being in last place. Zach headed back to his car and it was just the 3 of us again. It was finally starting to warm up. Reaching mile 35 we were feeling good and finally starting to have some conversation. Which up until then had been minimal. I was surviving on the caffeinated jelly belly beans and pretzels. And a few snickers bars. I was just so relieved my stomach was feeling better. Getting to mile 35 was good to have that many mile behind us but then realizing we still had like 3 hours of running was a little daunting. Rounding the eastern part of the lake around mile 37 April finally showed up.
It was so good to see her. She is such a great support for me. I was also excited that when she first saw us we were actually running. Usually when she finds me I’m walking. She would pull over and take the occasional pictures. Rounding mile 41 it was time to head up the canyon again. It’s a steep climb up this canyon. The steepest mile was mile 43 with 425 feet of climb.
I had tons of energy running up this part. Johnny and jimmy joe were pretty worn out but I stayed back with them. There was no reason leaving them now. I’d been with them the whole rest of the race. I think I had so much energy. Partly because april was there. But mostly cause we took it so slow the first part of the race. I just felt so good. It took quite a while to get up the canyon. We were pretty excited though that the group of 3 guys were still way behind us and we couldn’t see them. So we knew we were not taking last place.
Finally at mile 45 it was time to sail down the canyon. We kept a pretty good pace down the canyon. I was pushing them pretty hard. My mom and sister were there cheering us on as well as jimmy joe’s wife. It so great to have so much support from my family. Heading down the last few mile of the canyon was so much fun. Yeah we were tired. But I was so proud of my two brother for being able to complete this distance. Something probably 99% of the rest of the world will never do. We excited the canyon with about a half mile to go. Approaching the end of the race we all had huge smiles on our face. We could see our family off in the distance and could hear them chanting our names.
You can’t help but relate racing to when we get to heaven and we have all our ancestors that went before us just cheering us on. Pulling for us. With us every step of the way. Such an emotional thing to be pushed to your limits physically and mentally and have your loved ones there waiting for you.
Just an amazing thing to go through. We came in at just over 10 and a half hours.We crossed the finish line, hands held high in the air. What an amazing day. So hard but so fulfilling. An experience we will never forget.
Oh and the guys we were neck and neck with. We ended up finishing about an hour ahead of them. And the lady that was sitting down and I thought would probably drop out. She finished too.
3 brothers + 50 miles + 10 hours + one awesome day.
My number one fan. Love her so much for putting up with my craziness.
Thanks for reading. On to the next adventure.